As in any specialized profession, the world of ESL/EFL/ELL has its own unique terminology. I quite regularly come upon words that I’m not familiar with.

I thought a short “The Best…” list might be useful for readers.

I haven’t found one glossary of these kinds of terms that I would consider “complete” and accessible, so I’m listing a few of them.

Here are my picks for The Best Guides To ESL/EFL/ELL Terminology:

ESL Glossary From Bogglesworld

ESL Terminology From State University of New York — Courtland

ELT Terminology, Abbreviations & Acronyms From

Understanding Second Language Terminology From Everything ESL

The British Council’s Teaching Knowledge Database

Teaching Foreign Languages Glossary from Annenberg

Common TEFL Confusions is sort of a glossary-plus for ESL/EFL teachers. It’s very good and is from They also have a good glossary.

The last two were suggested by David Deubelbeiss. Thanks, David!

The American Institutes For Research has a good document titled Common ELL Terms and Definitions.

Colorin Colorado has a good glossary.

Other suggestions are, as always, welcome.

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